By Elise Kalfayan
LOS ANGELES — Haigazian University in Beirut awards $1 million in scholarships to Armenian students each year. Its 60th year of instruction just began, and a Gala marking the anniversary with the goal of expanding the university’s endowment is set for October 3 in Los Angeles.
I have followed news about Haigazian as far back as I can remember. As a child, I went to Haigazian Women’s Auxiliary fundraisers with my mother, grandmother, aunts and great-aunts, all supporters of the university. I learned at the time that our diaspora community was committed to keeping Haigazian’s door of opportunity open for Armenian students in the Near East, and that it was usually the only door available to these students.
What I did not hear at the time was how important this was and still is to Haigazian students. So when I heard about the gala fundraiser, my first question was, “How will this impact students?”
Board president Dr. Ani Darakjian responded: “We scramble every year to provide scholarships from our endowment, but end up tapping the operations budget to meet our commitments. We are committed to giving $1 million each year. An increased endowment will be a steady source for student aid and will also fund projects that serve the academic needs of our students.”